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“I’m absolutely thrilled to be here,” Uma Thurman declared as she arrived at Valentino’s farewell show Wednesday night in Paris. And the paparazzi were equally excited about her presence, given last-minute cancellations by the other expected stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Liv Tyler and Elizabeth Hurley.

“He will be sorely, sorely missed,” said Thurman, who is taking a break from the silver screen. “I’m just enjoying my vacation.”

“I feel like it’s an amazing part of history being here,” said “Cashmere Mafia” star Lucy Liu, noting she’s also embarking on field trip for UNICEF. “[Valentino] has a great sense of humor and love for life. That’s why I wanted to be here tonight.”

And so did gaggles of royals, socialites and designers, from Empress Farah Pahlavi and Rosario of Bulgaria to Miuccia Prada, Emanuel Ungaro and Alber Elbaz. “It’s an emotional moment. He represented a style that was very lively and glamorous,” said Ungaro. Elbaz lauded “the know-how, the glamour” of the acclaimed Roman couturier. “It’s really the end of an era.”

The show boasted almost as many models in the front row as on the catwalk. Eva Herzigova, who is plotting a film based on her life, said her directorial debut is on hold because motherhood has taken over “everything. “I’ve got some modeling work back on too because the old girls are back,” she said, referring to the comeback of supermodels.
But Nadja Auermann is dancing to a different tune and said she’s now focusing on a music career. “I’ve been writing songs and have done a few very private concerts. I’m looking for a band and to go public in the near future.”

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